Politics

Gaetz explains controversial stances

February 23, 2017

By Duwayne Escobedo
Inweekly

U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz admitted that the national media attending his inaugural “Open Gaetz Day” event at Grover T’s BBQ probably wanted to see him on the menu.

But in the face of the media spotlight and hundreds of protestors outside the restaurant marching with signs that read “Abolish Gaetz,” chanting “Shame on you!” and calling him a traitor and hurling other insults his way, the 34-year-old Republican didn’t back down.

Despite the chaos outside, Gaetz held a civilized debate on many issues with about 75 supporters and opponents inside the Milton BBQ joint. He joked a group of Avalon Middle School seventh graders Thursday grilled him the hardest.

“I make no apologies,” Gaetz said, vowing to fight Obamacare that he called a “wet blanket over our economy” and said Congress would repeal it this year.

Gaetz, though, did admit he supported people being able to get health insurance if they had a pre-existing condition and allowing people up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ healthcare coverage. Gaetz said he supported tax credits for individuals to afford health insurance.

Gaetz explained the nation’s future healthcare plan should attack costs. He said the post-World War II healthcare system places the burden on employers. He believes every American should be allowed to get their own health coverage that would travel with them from job to job. He supported coverage for the disabled, children and seniors and the “truly impoverished.”

“We want (health insurance companies) competing for our business,” he said.

Gaetz, who sits on Budget, Armed Services and Judiciary committees, said Congress would also fix the American tax system this year.

“We can’t just cut spending,” Gaetz said. Gaetz argued that big business needs to pay it fair share. And federal lawmakers need to broaden the tax base so it can lower taxes for individuals.

He also explained his reasons for sun setting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in two years and abolishing the U.S. Department of Education. He said the EPA wastes its $8 billion budget by giving $27 million to other countries to solve their environmental problems.

“I want to keep our high environmental standards. I’m an environmentalist and conservationist,” Gaetz said. “Our environmental problems will not be solved by some EPA regulator.” He explained state environmental agencies, university environmental experts would move faster and more effectively to solve environmental problems.

Among other policies, he said he would restructure the Veteran’s Administration to make it more responsible to military men and women, supports tying American aid to Middle East countries based on how much they support the United States’ fight against the ISIS terrorists, and backs President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a wall along the Mexican border and change immigration laws to support what the United States needs when it comes to skilled workers.

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  • Gloria G. Horning, Ph.D. February 27, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Bryan – the companies that are the big polluters in other countries are American businesses!

  • L. Laird February 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Despite the chaos outside, Gaetz held a civilized debate in side. I was inside, and Gaetz packed the house with old folks, military retires, and motor bide gang members, and yes most of them had less than third grad education. The four Democrats inside, I, being one of them, were never given the chance to ask anything. baby Gaetz will never come over to Escambia County, he knows he can not count on bus load of old folks from Milton, Jay, and Fort Walton Beach to fill a very limited room. It was a joke, but the food was good.

  • Gloria G. Horning, Ph.D. February 24, 2017 at 5:28 am

    The 27 million for other countries is because the fosse fuel companies rape the land and pollute the water sources in the countries that have a fossil fuel source with complete disregards to the local habitats , the United States of Corporations must clean up the waste byproduct. The corporations doing this pollution simply walk away leaving the American people paying to clean up their disasters.
    For example; the BP disaster. BP is paying paid (not enough) for the clean up and we are paying for the devastating environmental impact on our lives.

  • Jim McDade February 23, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I’m sorry to say I couldn’t be there today to protest this sorry excuse for a representative. He really doesn’t know anything about the work of the EPA or its value to us here in Northwest Florida. Nor does he care to learn. As long as he’s in the pocket of Drumpf and the money people, we won’t get anything of value out of him.

  • Marilyn Brown February 23, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Evalyn, the Chair of the DEC, asked a very pertinent question. “How will you keep pollution from crossing the state lines into Florida?” His answer…”We’ll sue!” I kid you not.

  • George February 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    $27 million? That’s .33 percent of its budget. That’s nothing. Plus we don’t have any info on where that goes. If a foreign country is spilling oil into nearby waters, Id want our government to help clean up. Gaetz ia completely tone deaf and wrong on this EPA business. Superfund, BP – we rely on the EPA to coordinate large scale clean ups that state and local government isn’t equipped to manage. The argument that because .33 percent of the budget goes to a foreign government so we should scrap the whole agency is truly crazy.

  • Bryan February 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    “The EPA wastes its $8 billion budget by giving $27 million to other countries to solve their environmental problems”? That makes a lot of sense.